Cheong was previously Tribal Worldwide’s Asia vice-president and Singapore head. He is credited with playing an important role in the establishment of Tribal DDB Singapore, which has become a regional hub for the network in terms of technology and innovation. Clients there include DBS, McDonald’s, StarHub and Unilever.
Cheong recently led the office to launch the DDB i-store, which offers clients more than 30 technology solutions and has been adopted globally within the agency. In his new role, he will continue to develop best practices in technology, social media, e-commerce and content, according to a statement from the agency.
The agency's Australian operations do not fall under Cheong's remit. He will work alongside Sydney MD Phil Dowgierd and ECD Darwin Tomlinson, and Melbourne GM Richard Lloyd.
At DDB for close to five years, Rona has been president of Tribal worldwide Asia-Pacific since early 2012. He will remain connected to the agency in a consulting role for the rest of the year. DDB was unable to confirm his next move.
In the statement, regional DDB Group chairman and chief executive John Zeigler called Cheong “one of the most innovative talents in the DDB Group”.
“I truly believe he is the future of the Tribal Worldwide Asia network,” Zeigler said. He also noted Rona’s contribution to building stronger ties with clients such as McDonald’s and Fonterra and establishing the network’s “centres of excellence” in the region across China and Australia as well as Singapore.
“We’re really excited about our centres of excellence,” Cheong said. “With the Group’s acquisition of 22Feet Tribal Worldwide in India early this year, our clients can tap into these resources. I’m looking forward to making digital our hallmark for clients in all key markets and across the region.”